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Uncertainty looms over ICC World Twenty20 semi-final at Feroz Shah Kotla

The fate of the upcoming ICC World Twenty20 semi-final match at Feroz Shah Kotla stadium is uncertain as Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) on Monday failed to get any relief from Delhi High Court over lack of completion certificate for its old club house there.

Feroz Shah Kotla-AV

The petition by the cricketing body seeking a direction to South Delhi Municipal Corporation (SDMC) to issue the certificate for the RP Mehra block came up for hearing before Justice AK Pathak, who referred the plea to a division bench observing that DDCA’s issues are pending before it.

At the outset, the bench said, “I cannot allow you (DDCA) to hold matches at this stage until you get the completion certificate.”

The semi-final match is slated on March 30. Senior advocates Sandeep Sethi and Rajiv Nayar, appearing for DDCA, said the RP Mehra block is there since 1996 and the occupancy certificate has already been issued.

Sethi said the concern was Justice (Retd) Mukul Mudgal’s view regarding this block due to which the International Cricket Council (ICC) is seeking clarification from the DDCA.

“Event by event, the court has directed SDMC to grant us the certificate. SDMC is not objecting to the structure (RP Mehra block). This matter deserves clarification from the court. We are aggrieved by Justice Mudgal’s letter (to BCCI). The T20 World Cup is yet to complete. A semifinal match is in Delhi,” he told the court.

Sethi further said, “It is not the SDMC which is bothering us. It is Justice Mudgal’s view which is the problem. ICC is seeking clarifications on this from us.”

To this, the bench said, “Your RP Mehra block is not as per the sanctioned construction plan.”

Justice Mudgal, who has been appointed by the high court to oversee the functioning of DDCA, has asked the cricketing body not to sell tickets for R P Mehra block, having a capacity of around 2,000, and that it be used only for the broadcasters and the media.

Sethi referred to the National Capital Territory of Delhi Laws (special provisions) Second Act 2011 and said that the R P Mehra block cannot be held illegal or unauthorised since the act provides for regularisation of the structure.

DDCA’s petition is likely to come up for hearing tomorrow before a division bench headed by Justice S Muralidhar.

During the hearing, the court referred to a March 8 order passed by division bench before which SDMC had said occupancy certificate was for the entire stadium barring RP Mehra block, which falls within 100 metre of a protected monument and lacks clearance from Archaeological Survey of India (ASI).

The division bench had said the issue of R P Mehra block was for the DDCA and SDMC to sort it out.

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